Monday, April 8, 2013

My Open Letter to Nancy Grace: A Migraine is NOT a Headache

Picture courtesy of SalFalco
Dear Nancy Grace,
I was watching your recaps of weeks 13 and 14 of the Jody Arias trial (accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008) this past weekend. You were discussing a day court recessed early because Arias had a Migraine. A few times you said court recessed because Arias "had a Headache"...I think you said "just a Headache". See Headache: Did Arias migraine put brakes on trial?

The problem is Migraines are NOT Headaches. A Headache is one of the many symptoms of a Migraine attack and some people don't even experience a Headache during an attack. The head pain of a Migraine attack can be excruciating. It's throbbing pain that's caused by misfiring of neurons. One of the ways a Migraine differs from other types of head pain is because it's (usually) one-sided.

Migraine is a neurological biological genetic disease. It's a disease just like Diabetes, Epilepsy or Cancer. There is no cure for Migraine but for over 95% of Migraineurs (Migraine sufferers) frequency and intensity can be minimized or even prevented through things like medication or trigger avoidance.

Arias claims she's having Migraine attacks because she's not being provided lunch. I'm not a neurologist and neither are you but, I bet you and I can offer this advice...EAT SOMETHING. If she has another attack during court, instead of recessing court for the day, if she's been prescribed a Triptan (a Migraine-specific medication that comes in various delivery methods such as a tablet, injection, nasal spray and sublingual) use it, and lie down in a dark room for an hour. If this helps, court can resume. If this doesn't help, then the court can decide what the plans are for the remainder of the day. Depending on the specific Triptan, she may be able to take another dose or another treatment can be administered. Many Migraineurs have a treatment plan (both written and unwritten) that outlines what the next step is when their primary method fails. Maybe she should too.

Did Arias have a Migraine attack? Did she have a Headache? Was she faking? We'll never know. I will say this, I know thousands of Migraineurs and, although possible, I have never met anyone who's ONLY symptom of a Migraine attack is a Headache.

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